Relatedness of content and sentence formation in Japanese


  • Andrej Bekeš University of Tsukuba & Jožef Stefan Institute



Relatedness of content and sentence formation in Japanese


Leech (1983: 63-70) distinguishes two kinds of pragmatics, interpersonal prag­ matics and textual pragmatics.  Our article is concerned with textual pragmatics,  spe­ cifically with the textual motivations behind a format such as a sentence in Japanese. Studying spontaneous spoken discourse, Chafe (1980) proposed two units of spoken discourse on the basis of phonetical and intonational criteria, i.e. the "idea unit" and the "intonation sentence". He finds justification for both units in cognitive processes as follows. Idea units, most often verbalized as clauses, are the linguistic expression of cognitive units that Chafe calls "foci of consciousness". A focus of consciousness is a chunk of information small enough to be processed and verbalized in one step. Next, an intonation sentence, consisting usually of several idea units (or sometimes just one) is the verbal expression of a larger cognitive unit, the "center of interest", a chunk of information too large to be verbalized in one step. Concerning the center of interest, Chafe puts forward the following hypothesis.


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1. 12. 1993




How to Cite

Bekeš, A. (1993). Relatedness of content and sentence formation in Japanese. Linguistica, 33(1), 19-34.